[ANN] Kludgey workarounds for IE and Netscape

Dean Roddey roddey at us.ibm.com
Fri Sep 11 19:40:00 BST 1998

Andy Dent wrote:
>> Why can't a product like our report-writer take
>> - XML describing content
>> - XSL specifying layout
>> and produce, for example, a report preview window on a Mac?
>> After all, if you regard a browser, it's doing something very similar.
> The result of an XSL process must be well-defined, right? So the most
> logical thing to create as the result of the process is an XML document.
> To me, your question is equivalent to "Why can't my car producing product
> take an XML document describing content, and an XSL describing the
> automobile to produce and generate the car?" Well, if XSL were an
> automobile producing language, that would make sense, but it isn't, it is
> an XML producing language.

That's not to say of course that, if I am writing an XSL engine, I cannot
provide a programatic object
interface that normally plugs in a "create XML output" widget, but which can if
desired plug in a "spit
out any danged thing you want" widget. In fact, it would be kind of crazy to
write an XSL engine that
did not provide that kind of flexiblity, since it would provide as much "future
proofness" for the
maintainer of the product as it would for his/her customers.

Of course you have to write some code to take advantage of it, but it also
opens the door for pre-fab
(even pre-fab third party) widgets that spit out particular types of output
given a few hints about the
desired attributes of the target output.

Dean Roddey
Software Weenie
IBM Center for Java Technology - Silicon Valley
roddey at us.ibm.com

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